Saturday, March 24, 2012

The End of the Tunnel (Intro Is Drawing To A Close)

Wow! I cannot believe we have been at this for 24 days already, and at the same time it is getting routine enough that it feels like this is how we have been doing things for some time.

Some interesting things about the GAPS diet:

It totally changes your "meal clock."  I wrote a few posts ago that I still was not going to eat fish for breakfast.  And then just a few days later, I did.  I have grown accustomed to having sauerkraut on my scrambled egg & avocado in the morning, too (sometimes with a bit of homemade sour cream to top it off).  Hey, you never know until you try it, right?  The first few days of just soup do something radical, they totally reorient your brain and palate, or so it seems.  Suddenly my concept of what is "breakfast food" and what is "dinner food are not that different.  Funny, right?  Before starting GAPS I could not fathom how we were going to manage with all these odd foods at odd times of day, and now it really is not a big deal at all.

Here is a typical day on the GAPS diet for us.  Since we are all on different stages, I will start with mine, and then show where Jeff's and Joshua's varies (I am on stage 5, Jeff is on stage 3 but moving toward 4, and Joshua is on stage 2):

First thing in the AM (After I get Joshua fed) I have about 4 oz of freshly pressed juice mixed with kombucha.  Then a little while after that I will usually have a cup of coffee.  Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends not eating anything until around 10, because until that point the body is still in detox mode (from 4 AM to 10 AM).  So a little before 10 I usually have an egg, lightly scrambled in ghee (clarified butter) with some onions, topped with some avocado, sauerkraut, and a bit of homemade sour cream (as mentioned above).  Usually I will also have a mug of broth with this.  And water.  I try to keep up on my water intake, and our well water is really great.

With such a late breakfast, I do not usually have a mid-morning snack or anything.  Lunch is usually a salad with peeled & sliced cucumbers.  Today, I added carrots.  I dress the salad with a little olive oil and squeeze a lemon quarter over it.  I have this with a mug of broth, and mix a raw egg yolk, a spoonful of ghee, and some sauerkraut juice into the broth.  It gives the broth a rich, but salty and slightly tart taste.

For an afternoon snack I will usually have a "pancake."  These pancakes have only 3 ingredients: a nut or seed butter (we use peanut but when Joshua reaches this stage we will make his with Sunbutter), cooked & mashed winter squash, and egg.  I use a 1:1:1 ratio, where an egg is about 1/4 cup to make 2 medium sized pancakes).

Dinner varies, but it is usually either soup or "deconstructed soup," which is meat and veggies with the broth on the side in a mug.  Again I usually mix an egg yolk, ghee, and kraut juice into the broth.  We use different soup recipes to keep things as interesting as we can.  Technically I can have meats cooked by roasting or grilling, now, but roasting for one is a little wasteful, so I am holding off on that until Jeff & Joshua catch up.

For dessert, I have recently started having baked apple.  If I am still hungry, I will have a few tablespoons of sour cream with a little honey drizzled over it.

Jeff's diet is similar, except that he is not on the raw veggies stage yet, so he often has soup or deconstructed soup for lunch, too.  Also he has not fully introduced dairy yet, so no sour cream dessert for him, either.  He is putting ghee in the soups, and tonight or tomorrow night we will do a skin trial for him with whey.  That is the next step.

For Joshua, we have introduced duck egg yolks successfully, but we could not get many, so tonight we will trial chicken egg yolk on his skin.  He has shown some healing in the allergy department already, so we are just hoping and praying that it extends to the egg allergy, too.  He has eaten some non-pureed meats and veggies, but he still prefers some of them pureed.  While he has eaten some meats that were re-heated in ghee, we have not officially introduced it yet, so generally I stir a little pastured lard into his puree instead of ghee.  Tomorrow I will offer some mashed avocado, and in a few days the sunbutter pancakes.

Joshua is gaining weight (3 lbs over his starting weight already) and growing taller.  All of this is happening so quickly that it absolutely blows our minds.  He went from 4 months with no growth at all to gaining 3 lbs and 3/4" in a few weeks.  He is babbling more (as he had stopped for a while), and getting back more of his old demeanor.  He is literally trying to eat us out of house and home!  He is sleeping better, though he is still waking wet pretty early in the morning most nights.  Overall, though, we have fewer nights where he is waking just to cry, and that is a blessing.

Jeff reports feeling better, overall.  Including having more energy than he used to when he is out working on the farm during the day, and improved digestion. He is not feeling hungry all the time anymore (he did for a bit in the beginning), and he has lost some weight.

Other than my own weight loss, I was not sure I was getting too much out of this, until Istarted looking at my finished to-do lists.  I am self-starting much more readily than I ever have, and I have to "think out loud" much less often, too.  I was also looking for some resolution regarding an itchy scalp issue I was having (and had linked to possible yeast issues), and while I did not get it through diet, I did about the craziest skin care thing I have ever done and made a kefir scalp mask last night.  Nothing fancy.  Washed my hair, worked kefir through my hair and massaged it into the scalp, and wrapped my hair in a towel for 45 min or so.  Rinsed it out, shampoo as usual, conditioned, and was done.  My scalp is feeling MUCH better today.  I think I am going to do that with every shampoo over the next week or so, just to make sure the change is a permanent one.  I am now a hippie health and beauty QUEEN.  Even if I was NOT yet experiencing more focus and motivation, it is nice to be back in clothes I have not worn in over two years!  But yes, all this extra motivation is so helpful.  Today I was a rockstar in the kitchen AND I did laundry (folded it AND put it away).  I did a lot of "extra" kitchen stuff today so that I can have the next couple days pretty free.  Namely, I want to be able to enjoy some Sunday rest tomorrow, and get caught up on "non-GAPS housework" on Monday.

OK, so that is our update!  GAPS is going well on all fronts and we are feeling better than ever.  Praise God!

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